Andre Villas-Boas enforced changes at Chelsea too quickly says Juan Mata

 

Juan Mata has claimed Andre Villas-Boas may have paid the price for trying to change the way Chelsea played too quickly - but denied the players forced him out of the club.

Villas-Boas' sacking as manager followed widespread reports of dressing-room unrest at Stamford Bridge.

There were also suggestions billionaire owner Roman Abramovich read the riot act to the squad immediately after dispensing with the 34-year-old.

But winger Mata, who was signed from Valencia last summer, told Spanish radio station Cope: "He did not come to tell us off. He talked to us last week after the change of manager. He had also come to one or two training sessions.

"No player in the squad has done anything or thought about a change in the coach.

"He was the manager and we all put our faith in him. He had good ideas and he wanted to change things in the club but, in the end, it is the results that matter. Nobody got rid of him.

"He came with the idea of how he played at Porto - the pressure high up the pitch, robbing the ball and always being very close to the opponents' goal with a very offensive football.

"Perhaps Chelsea were used to a different style, perhaps a more physical one with a lot of chances in a small space of time, not such a fluid style but still a very attacking one.

"It was maybe imposing a style when the team were not used it."

Mata also backed team-mate and compatriot Fernando Torres to turn his Chelsea career around and force his way back into the Spain squad for this summer's European Championship.

Torres has now gone almost 24 hours of playing time, dating back to October, without scoring for the Blues and has been dropped by his country but Mata said: "Fernando still has time. He has lived through a lot of good and bad. He is working extremely hard in training.

"You can't forget so soon his 80 goals in Liverpool. He'll be a very important player for Chelsea and for Spain.

"People talk about the fact that Fernando has not scored but he is constantly creating space. I've scored goals thanks to him. He has given me a lot of assists.

"There have been other games when the keeper has made a fantastic save or he has hit the bar."

Meanwhile, Chelsea have offered a trial to Mexico's Under-17 World Cup winner Richard Sanchez, according to the 16-year-old goalkeeper's agent.

PA

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